Sphinx Pistols – Swiss Technology from KRISS USA


Of all the guns that we saw and wrote about from Range Day, the Sphinx line is the one I didn’t really understand. They have been available for several years in Europe, but Europe has very few handguns in civilian hands. It isn’t like the US where we have the 2nd Amendment as part of the structure of our country. You just aren’t talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of guns. In fact you probably aren’t even talking about thousands. To come in to the US market at what will most likely be a high price point is a gamble at best, but KRISS USA seems prepared to take it.

The guns themselves are really cool, which helps, and they reek of high end Swiss quality, like when you pick up a real Swiss watch and you just know it is real, just by the feel. It is the same with these guns. You just feel the precision and quality in them. At range day we had show guns, which always shoot well so you can’t go by that, but I was impressed by the conviction of the members of the Sphinx company who were at the booth. They know they have great guns here and they are counting on KRISS to bring their message to the US market.

In five years we will either look back at 2011 and Sphinx and remember a really neat gun that didn’t make it, or we will remember their humble beginnings before they made it big in the US. I feel that new guns that challenge the market to get better are always a good thing, and that could be what Sphinx is today. Hopefully we’ll get some review guns soon and take them apart to see how they differ from those they hope to gain against in the market. That there piece design he is kind of explaining seems interesting. I don’t disbelieve him. I am just curious to see how the gun keeps itself together. The guns are supposed to be available in the US in March, so hopefully we’ll see then.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • garry September 21, 2016, 10:21 pm

    my slide Sphinx .380-M needs to be replaced
    Can you help?

  • jay March 31, 2014, 5:57 pm

    I have a great 380acp with two mags shoot great nice backup pistol i want $ 500 dollars for it is in his factory box Anyone interested?

  • Fred June 27, 2013, 3:29 pm

    Sphinx is a great pistol…I have owned one for some years, however, I must say their support is the worst in the market. I have been in need of parts for over 1 year and have repeatedly followed up with Kriss USA and with the Headquarters office overseas and they always come with some new story as to why the parts are not in the USA yet. Hense, I must inform that if the company can’t provide support for their products they should not be selling their product in the USA. It is really ashame to purchase a pistol then needing a part and not be able to get it, leaving you with the only option to sale the pistol for parts so that others can maybe repair their own Sphinx pistol.

    Hopefully if you already purchased a Sphinx it won’t break down…if it does need a part I wish you the best in attempting to find the parts.

    • Mike August 26, 2013, 9:26 pm

      Fred I agree. I purchased a 3000 last October from Gander Mountain Gun World and from day one it has had a problem with hammer follow. Sphinx, Kriss nor Gander Mountain are will to support this gun. It is the nicest shooting gun I have ever shot, but like you said the support is terrible. I have been following up with Kriss on the SDP and can’t get a straight answer on that either.

    • DanC December 2, 2013, 6:59 pm

      Mike — where can I purchase magazines for my AT 2000?

    • Richard January 11, 2015, 10:11 pm

      I’m in the same boat. I own both an AT-2000 Police Special and and a AT-380M. I need a new recoil spring for the 2000 and an extractor for the 380. Sphinx/Kriss?…NO CAN DO. Now I have some nice Swiss made paperweights.

      Zero customer support due to import restrictions and KRISS’s attitude of “What? Before we owned the company? Pound Sand.” They’re nice guns. You’re screwed if you need parts.

  • Ivan Avdeev January 14, 2013, 5:17 am

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  • Mike May 14, 2011, 3:16 am

    As a owner of a Sphinx 3000 Competition Standard i know a great deal about these guns. The quality of the 3000 series are exceptional, they did a test with a IPSC shooter where they completely measured the barrels interior dimensions and then the groupings shot from a ransom rest. After 80,000 rounds where shot they did all the measurements again and they could not find any differences from the first test.
    The 3000 is a CZ clone no doubt about it. All the internals are more or less exactly like the CZ with the difference being that the dimensions are a bit off so you are not able to simply swap one part with another. This is by the way the only thing that compares with the CZ, the quality of the materials the use and the machining tools used are so far superior that they seems to be from a different world. The are simply no machine marks inside or out on the Sphinx as compared to the CZ which seems to be a giant tool mark altogether. The fitting is outstanding, the only gun i have that could make claim of a better fitting would be my Les Baer Premier II with the 1,5″ guarantee.
    As previously mentioned here the Sphinx 3000 is of a modular type which means that you can choose which materials you want for the grip, dustcover and the slide. The materials you have to choose from are SS, Alu and Titanium. Albeit the slide will always come in SS. The lightest configuration will weigh in at ca 790grams (the compact version with grip and dustcover in aluminum). The Sphinx 3000 are currently issued to a number of specialforces unit within the LE community in Europe. The Sphinx 3000 are also issued to the Swiss police force.
    My own pistol are a full SS version since i use it only for competing in IPSC shooting where i need a heavy gun to keep the recoil to a minimum. During the 30,000+ shoot i have shot with my gun i have had to replace the extractor and magazine relase lever once which on a CZ system gun is to be considered VERY good. I change my recoil spring every 5000 rounds but this is nothing unusual for any type of pistol. It´s just like on a car, if you service it regularly it can almost run forever the same principals apply to any pistol just the same.
    In conclusion i can agree with many of the comments on the price, it´s a very pricey gun (i paid $4,000 for mine) but in hindsight it has been worth every penny.


  • dboy225 March 22, 2011, 8:11 pm

    too darn expensive..pretty but..meh

  • Tom M February 1, 2011, 3:24 pm

    Years ago, I had a Sphinx in .40 cal – biggest waste of money. The underlug of the barrel shattered ruining the gun due to metal shards being worked in everywhere (except my hand). Even though I used factory ammo, the gun wasn’t covered under warranty. While slide to frame fit and action felt great, I could never trust their craftsmanship again. There are plenty of great guns out there that are made in the U.S.A. No need to send our money to the Swiss.

  • Libercontrarian February 1, 2011, 4:27 am

    A really nicely-made copy of a CZ-75, which is too thick to carry, probably heavy, carries only 14 rounds of 9mm?

    No thanks, I’ll be keeping my $389 Glock 19, which is thinner, shorter, and lighter and carries more rounds than anything else at twice the price (nearest competitor? HK USP, with it’s goofy DA/SA trigger).

    • WhatchutalkinboutWillis February 27, 2012, 2:43 am

      It’s your right to keep whatever gun you choose, but your comment is tantamount to someone saying:

      “No thanks, I’ll be keeping my $32,000 Buick which is thinner, shorter and lighter and gets better mileage than a Rolls Royce Phantom.

  • Rob February 1, 2011, 3:50 am

    I suspect the real question being bantered about is less about whether we’d buy the gun in the video, as we would invest in the venture to bring the gun to the US. And frankly, I don’t see anything here that we can’t already buy in a Beretta 92 series, a Sig, or similar. But that’s just me. Thank goodness for choices.

  • MT January 31, 2011, 7:44 pm

    …though admittedly, switzerland is far ahead of the rest of europe in this regard.

    Isn’t the same pistol design as ones made in itally as imported by EEA?

    • Administrator January 31, 2011, 10:48 pm

      Outside of the one battle rifle that the Swiss are required to have they are virtually prohibited from owning non-sporting arms.

      • DRS January 22, 2013, 7:28 am

        Sorry to wake a zombie thread, but this is simply not true. If you don’t have a criminal record, you can get any semiauto gun you want. It’s as simple as getting a background check (takes about 3-5 days) and sending in an application form to get a permit for the purchase of up to 3 guns (can be pump action shotguns, pistols or rifles in any caliber). If you want more guns, just fill out another form. Total cost about 25 US$ per application including background checks.
        For full-auto and CCW you have to get special permits which are more difficult to get.

      • john johnson July 20, 2013, 4:37 pm

        HOW DID YOU LEARN THIS LIE?W e can own what we want,even artillery and anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns.

  • MT January 31, 2011, 7:42 pm

    Europe is not as bad as you think about gun laws. Switzerland has better gun laws and a more lively citizen militia tradition than the US. All swiss males of service age have to keep a select fire rifle in their house for civil militia duty and they have to qualify with it. THey do have a registration scheme to own machine guns, but it is not as restrictive as the NFA

  • KT January 31, 2011, 5:46 pm

    Sphinx pistols are nothing new. I’ve had three of them (the AT-380, AT-2000H, and an AT-2000P) for the last 15 years, purchased in the U.S. They are stainless, built like a Rolex, have superb triggers, and are bombproof. Absolutely the best double action out of the box ever made. The real joy is in the shooting (except the AT-380 which is a DOA .380 handful). The 2000’s are 9mm S/DA and a dream to shoot.

  • TJ January 31, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Sorry you appear to be hearing about Sphinx for the first time just because KRISS now is affiliated with them. Sphinx has been making superior guns for many years and KRISS is not the first to try and introduce them to the US market in a bigger way. I think the recent success of Sphinx guns in the European IPSC competitions will aid in their popularity here in the US.

  • Michael January 31, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Of all the handguns I picked up at ShotShow2011 this by far had the most impressive feel, the double action Might be 5lbs, the smoothest from beginning to end that I have ever felt. Great weight and alignment when sighting. A good question in this article has is how durable are they? Will they hold up?

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